One of Montreal's great culinary institutions, this cramped, somewhat dingy deli makes the smoked meat (Montreal's version of pastrami) to which all ... More
One of Montreal's great culinary institutions, this cramped, somewhat dingy deli makes the smoked meat (Montreal's version of pastrami) to which all others are compared. The queue can be horrendous on weekends, the service is impersonal at best, and you are likely to be shoehorned into a table with a gaggle of total strangers. That said, the classic meal of a smoked meat sandwich, fries, pickle and a Cott's Cerise Noire cola is a genuinely transcendent experience. If the line seems unreasonable, takeout is a perfect alternative. Cash only.
Once the best now at the bottom of the pile.. they are saving money and stopped loading on the seasoning, the meat is tough, no taste. There are lots of good places to go, stay away from this place as it has gone down hill.
BEEN GOING THERE SINCE MY COLLEGE DAYS IN THE 80'S
By A Yahoo Contributor, 5/21/10
One of my greatest regrets since moving out of Montreal. Nothing compares, but a restaurant opened in my neighbourhood 1KM from my home comes close. Centre Street Deli(Thornhill) The very same year I moved into the area, what were the chances??? Owners are former Montrealers too.
If your a streetwise foodie, don't ever go at peak hours. Weekdays mid-noon (3:00P.M.) or evenings after nine o'clock are opportunities to walk in and seat yourself with ease. Don't wear your Sunday best because it's just not that sort of place.The neighbourhood was populated with newly landed immigrants from the old country 100 years ago. Namely Portugese, Italians, and Jews from Eastern Europe. (Romanian, Hungarian, and Polish) The decor was styled to suit the needs of the locals. Very working class greasy spoon. Those tables could very well have been bought during their last upgrade in the 60's. If it ain't broke they ain't gonna fix it.
It's a very limited menu, but they make an excellent product. Steaks and smoked meats is all I've ever eaten there. Try the medium sandwich first, with fries, and a Black Cherry Cola. It's the most popular meal. I myself have graduated to the journeyman lunch - Large Plate, with black coffee, and fries. There's enough meat to make three decent sized sandwiches, the coffee is so good you don't want to mask the rich coffee beans it's brewed from. Cole slaw and pickles are very good too, but I don't order them because they take up space from my third sandwich.
Staff may be curt and somewhat discourteous but you'll need to be patient and cut them some slack. Those are locals who've worked long hours and experienced a lot of seemingly endless rushes. The business never stops once those doors are opened. I have always had good rapore with staff.
For your convenience, they have opened a second location two doors north. But be forwarned, take out only, or stand up dining up against a shelf countertop.
Great deli. Lined up for about ten minutes. The servers may sound rude at times but they are extremely busy and truly don't have time to fuss
over you. Service was fast. Here's a place where my mom used to hang out decades ago. We both love the place. We go there to enjoy one of the best smoked meat sandwich. Go for the medium not the lean one. It's simply not as juicy and good. You gotta try the fries...they are delicious! I rarely eat deep fried foods for well known reasons but I overlook everything when it comes to Schwartz. I can cut back the next day. The hell with my waistline when I head to Schwartz's king of the smoked meat platter...and don't forget the pickle! Great job guys! Highly recommend. Not a fancy place but your taste buds will keep you coming back. Highly recommend. :)
Rain or shine you will stand in line but well worth the wait. We arrived at noon and stood in line. Didn't take long to get seated (family of five) or served. Yes, it is a busy place but they do know what they are doing. We don't like rye bread - waiter suggested that we run next door and purchase regular buns - they didn't mind at all. We ordered smoke meat without bread, cole slaw and fries. It was stop we did not regret!
This place makes the only sandwhich I would stand in line for 40 minutes for. I went for take-out, and got the classic smoked meat sandwhich, on sourdough with mustard. I could have stood inside, inhaling the wonderful smells for hours. The meat in my sandwhich was flavourful, juicy, tender and warm. I couldn't have been happier with the sandwhich unless there had been another one. Wonderful! I'd stand in line in January for this sandwhich.
If you want to be treated extremely rudely by fat butchers, then this is the place to be. 3 or 4 years ago, while visiting Montreal, we made a stop at Schwartz's for some take out. We waited in line for over an hour!!
When we got near the front of the line, we heard one of the fat butchers say "let them wait, they'll come back anyways".
Poor service is one thing, but utter arrogance and disrespect of your customers is another. I will NEVER condone any business to act in such a rude manner and I will make it known to anyone thinking of going. This still angers me even after 3-4 years.
The food may be good (not great).. but to be subjected to that kind of rudeness is utter nonsense... be forewarned!
We just got back from our trip to Montreal and stumbled upon Schwartz's deli. There was such a long line during the day and at night was that we decided to check it out. We went around 10pm to avoid the line and were seated immediately. The guy who sat us down seemed rather unpleasant but we heard that they weren't the most pleasant place. They sat us at our own table and a few minutes later we received our smoked meat (or equivalent of pastrami). The food was ok not great. The meat wasn't as tender as I expected and it was wrapped in just a regular piece of bread, and if I had to wait in line I would have given it a worse review. The best thing about the deli was the price since for both of us it was $20 (U.S.). However, towards the end of the night both me and my bf had stomach aches which we attributed to the food eaten at schwartz's deli, since we did not eat anywhere else prior to. Overall, I probably wouldn't return, but to each his own I guess (since everyone's review on here appears to be favorable).
I love the smoked-meat at Schwartz's its unbeatable, the medium-cut meat melts in your mouth. Side it with a some fries, a dill pickle and a black cherry soda and its picture perfect. Even the cole-slaw desrves an applause.
The waiters and countermen work hard at trying to keep everything flowing at a steady pace. Thumbs up, people make in and out of there alive and well fed.
Got there, and waited in a small line. The staff made sure it moved smoothly. Seated at the stools, the waiter was very friendly and explained the lean vs. medium vs. fatty, etc.
Ordered a medium smoked meat sandwich and found it to be very chewy/fatty,and lacking of flavour. Upsides were great rye bread (and I dont like rye). I put on a lot of mustard to distract myself from the substandard sandwich. Not sure if I hit it on an off day, or if its over-rated as part the masses trying to appear hip and conforming. Quite disappointed. Would not revisit.
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